Monday, January 14, 2013

MORNING COFFEE



As with many other things in the food and beverage department, America has taken the European concept of coffee and taken it to the next level. And to a degree bested Europe. (As they did with Pizza...) With the help of Starbucks, who introduced Americans to Espresso drinks, many entrepreneurs were able to start their independent coffee shops and be very good at it without being part of a chain.  
If you live in Calgary, you may be familiar with Phil & Sebastian, Fratello, Cafe Beano or others who brew excellent coffee and pull some of the best Espressos anywhere. 

While you can find great coffee in Italy and great Cafes in France (think people watching in Paris), the actual coffee in France is not that good. Not sure why. But I've tried long and hard here in Jarnac and Cognac and realized early on that only my own equipment and great beans will make me happy in the morning. 

Always considerate of local small business, I contacted a Torrefacteur (roaster) in Cognac if he would be interested in getting me the Espresso machine and grinder and after having waited for a couple of month without a reply and a final visit just to be told he had no time, I finally went online and did my own research where to get my set up from.
So that took another month, as it was incredibly challenging to make a distinction between some machines. As hard as buying a car I thought. But eventually a package from Germany that included all sorts of accessories won me over and the order was placed. 

The people at www.imprezza.de were very helpful and one type of their coffee beans won me over as my current favorite for this machine. While some others (mostly the Osso Negro beans) were very good, the beans included in the shipment reminded me the most of a smooth Espresso in Italy.

Just in time for Christmas the boxes arrived at our door and we are now the proud owners of a Bezzera Mitica and a Mazzer Mini Grinder. It`s a step up from our days with a Starbucks machine back in Calgary. 
I could hook up the Espresso machine to the water main, but want to wait until we install a softener, as water here is very hard and could calcificate the machine too fast. The grinder comes with an automatic doser, once programmed it grinds the same amount of coffee for a single or double every time.
I am happy, back in the habit drinking a couple of double Mochas or later on in the day a nice single shot Espresso with a bit of whipped cream.
Isabella gets her hot chocolate daily and Victoria is happy as well, drinking her Mocha for breakfast.



MY CORNER

THE EQUIPMENT

STARTING A MOCHA

STEAMER WORKS FAST

PERFECT GRIND


DOUBLE SHOT ESPRESSO


POURING THE HOT CHOCOLATE INTO THE DOUBLE ESPRESSO

PULLING A SINGLE SHOT


MY OTHER FAVORITE, ESPRESSO CON PANNA

PLAYING AROUND TO FIND THE BEST BEANS


4 comments:

Nadege said...

"C'est le grand luxe"!
I am surprised you didn't get a Miele or an italian machine. I don't drink coffee (could but only with a lot of sugar in it -not worth it really) but I love the smell of it and enjoy a coffee ice cream once in a while (again it is all about the sweet taste).
Anyway, this machine is beautiful. Very common now in the US to have very expensive coffee machines at home.
Congratulations, it was a nice giftmas present to yourself!

H.Peter said...

Guten Morgen Nadege,

did you make it to any of the parties yesterday? Go Austria....

Both, the machine and grinder are made in Italy, the wholesaler was in Germany. They threw in the tamper, 2kg of coffee, 12 cups and saucers, the spoons, everything really to start brewing.

karenk said...

You have a Canadian Coffee in that mix.. a little hard to find I woud thing in France.. Oso Negro one of my favorites and always bring lots home when I visit Nelson. Very nice machine, nothing better than a good cup at home.

H.Peter said...


Hi Karen,

Samantha brought the Oso Negro with her.
While it does not make pretty Espresso Crema, the flavor is gigantic. Really good.